Baby Enzo turned 7 months old on Friday. For those of you who haven’t seen him in the last month or so, you’ll hardly recognize him when you see him in person. He’s been going through quite a growth spurt lately; lots of outfits no longer fit him, and new ones are getting pulled out of the ether on a regular basis. He’s very aware of what is going on around him and does his best to stay involved with his sisters whenever possible. Any time Ava gets the iPad out he will do whatever he has to in order to scoot near her and look at the screen. Although he’s not officially crawling yet, he’s definitely mobile and has his own unique way of getting up on all fours, then rocking back and forth until he faceplants, then he sort of slides forward as he gets back up on all fours again. It’s not the most efficient sequence I’ve ever seen, but it seems to work for him. When all else fails he just log rolls to get around.
Over the past couple days the girls and I have gotten out together for various ‘adventures’ in order to give Jessica more time to paint. Friday night we went to Costco, which is always fun, then yesterday I took them to their first movie at the mall. My thought was to take them to a mall far away because getting there and back would eat up a lot of time, so I chose Southcenter mall, which I went to constantly (and even worked at) growing up. I knew it had been through a massive reconstruction a few years ago, but I haven’t really been there since then, so I couldn’t believe it when we got there. There was very little resemblance to the mall I remember from my childhood, but it was beautiful, and it was huge.
As the girls and I walked through the mall looking for the movie theater I’m sure we looked like the blind leading the blind to everyone we passed. Elise kept running ahead of with a maniacal laugh, then Ava would try to catch her and make her hold hands, then there’s me power walking behind them calling out their names and trying to stay close. By the time we reached the second floor I noticed a little play area so I decided to go there for a few minutes while we regroup and figure out where we’re going.
What I didn’t realize was that while we were inside the mall, there was a pretty major storm going on outside. I remember from the middle of the night before hearing lots of wind and rain outside, but I thought it was over. As it turns out, the worst was yet to come. Apparently the weather took a turn for the worse while we were inside, but I had no idea, so I took out my phone and saw a group text message to Jessica and I from the general manager at El Gaucho begging for Jessica to work later that evening.
I called Jessica and offered to come straight home, but she didn’t want us to miss out on our movie, and we figured with the movie starting at 1:10, there would be no problem for her to get to work at 5:30. With a new plan in place, the girls and I headed to the food court to enjoy a basket of fish ‘n chips from Ivars before our movie.
After we finished eating I took the girls up to the top floor, which is where the movie theater is, and immediately they started going crazy. They were so excited to be there that they couldn’t contain themselves. So I’m trying to wait in line to purchase tickets, then popcorn a minute later, but they won’t hold still and insist on running all around. As usual they got a lot of attention from everyone in line, but I just blamed their hysteria on this being their first trip to the movies.
After getting our popcorn, we went to our theater and sat in the furthest back row in the furthest corner. I wanted to separate us as much as possible from the rest of the people in order to hopefully not ruin their experience. We sat down at 1:00 and proceeded to wait 30 minutes for our movie ‘Shaun – the Sheep Movie’ to start. As you might expect the girls were impossible to keep still during that time, and there were multiple occasions where I considered throwing in the towel. I have to be honest though, it was mostly Elise who was being crazy. Ava deserves credit for mostly staying still, but Elise couldn’t be stopped from climbing over chairs and running into various rows. I kept having to chase her down, which she thought was hilarious.
I’m certainly not blaming Elise for anything here; she’s barely even two years old and there’s no way I would have taken Ava to a theater at that age. She’s just not ready to sit still in a foreign environment like that for an extended period of time. Once the movie started both girls settled down though, which was a relief, so I figured we were home free. About ten minutes later Elise starts crawling away from us and trying to hide under the seats. Not only is that disgusting, but I knew what she was doing. She had some business to attend to and was trying to get a little privacy. So I sat there and waited for the smell. I figured pulling her out too early would be a mistake because she might not actually go, so I just waited.
Once I was sure she was done (and likely so were a few others seated nearby) I scooped her up in my arms and told Ava we needed to go to the potty to change Elise’s diaper. I was afraid this would upset her because she was really into the movie, but she looked at me like a little soldier getting their orders and proclaimed (with a head nod) “Yes Daddy.”
So the three of us head out to find a restroom and of course there is no family restroom, plus there’s no changing table in the men’s room. Luckily one of those large stalls for handicapped people was vacant, so the three of us went there. I had no choice but to lay Elise down on the tile floor, which is gross, but when you compare it to the movie theater floor she was just crawling around on, I think it’s a push. Although Elise usually doesn’t like to hold still during a diaper change, I don’t think she was too keen being on that bathroom floor, so she didn’t struggle with me very much.
After our bathroom debacle we went back to our theater and sat down in the same seats, intent on watching the rest of our movie. Once again, both girls seemed really locked into the movie for a few minutes, and I thought we were all good, but then Elise starts getting fidgety and has to start crawling over chairs. At this point I’m considering leaving, and without prompting Ava looks at me and says “Daddy, can we go home?” Without hesitation I said yes, scooped up Elise, and the three of us made a beeline for the exit.
At this point you might think our adventure was over, but we were just getting started. I don’t know how I always do it, but I managed to park as far away from the movie theater as possible, meaning the girls and I had to traverse the entire mall on a busy Saturday afternoon in order to get back to our car. Once again, it was the blind leading the blind, but eventually we made our way to the car, got strapped in, and headed for the freeway.
I could tell it had rained while we were in the mall but there was no reason to think twice about it. I called Jessica at about 2:20, just as we were getting on I-5 North, and said we should be home in the next 45-50 minutes. It was no problem on her end, she just wanted to leave the house at 4:30, which would give her an hour to get to work.
I’m heading up I-5 and the girls fall asleep almost immediately. I’m thinking I’m home free, and even considered getting some guitar time in at home before the girls woke up from their nap. Traffic is smooth sailing until just past Boeing Field, then as we’re getting near the exit for I-90 I see a message on the overhead sign saying there is a 6 mile backup ahead. Immediately I move from the far left commuter lane to the exit-only right lane, get onto I-90 East, and again it’s smooth sailing.
I’m pumped at this point; I just avoided a major traffic jam on I-5, and I can take I-90E to 405N to get home. I fly through I-90, get on 405 north, and again it’s wide open. I’m grinning ear-to-ear knowing that I’m going to be home ahead of schedule. Then, as if I even have to say it, 405 comes to a complete standstill near Kirkland. I had no idea why, but it’s jammed up for as far as the eye can see.
Determined not to be stopped by traffic, I pulled out my phone, fired up the Waze app, told it to navigate me home, and followed its directions to take the next exit from 405 and start heading through the neighborhoods of Kirkland. I followed along through the most random places for several miles, took a left at a light, and bam! Traffic. Not an accident or anything like that; just a complete standstill on some random two-lane road in Woodinville. It’s backed up for miles, and there’s nowhere to go.
The girls were still passed out at this point, so I decided to just ride it out. Had I known that the entire area was without power due to the storm that hit while we were at the mall, and that not a single traffic light in a 3 mile radius was working, I may have backtracked to the freeway. But I didn’t know, so I sat and waited, and waited and angrily texted Jessica about my situation, and waited. In the first 30 minutes I moved about half a mile.
At 4:05 I’m still crawling through Woodinville trying to get to the freeway, and Jessica is trying to find a place for us to meet, when all of the sudden things open up and I find myself back on the freeway. After getting off the freeway I started seeing tons of uprooted trees, and plenty of lights without power. Long story short, I get home at 4:25, just in time to let the girls (whom are awake by now) say hello and goodbye to Mommy before she heads to work. Jessica then has to take a backroads route to work because her normal route would have taken 2.5 hours, but she ends up arriving right on the dot at 5:30.
After all the excitement with the girls I figured we could all use some rest, so I turned on a show for them in their room, got them some snacks, and let them be. Then Enzo and I posted up on the couch to watch a show I had recorded. I give him a bottle, watch my show, and basically got 45 minutes of relaxation in. As the show finishes Enzo is sound asleep, so I decide to head upstairs and see how the girls are doing. As I turn the corner in our staircase I start seeing little torn up pieces of toilet paper. As I follow these lovely little breadcrumbs I soon find myself in our guest bathroom. A clean-ish diaper is on the floor, along with tons of ripped up toilet paper, and lets just say that a very special treat was smeared into the sink for Daddy.
As if this wasn’t enough, there was still another breadcrumb trail of toilet paper for me to follow into their room. Not surprisingly there was tons of ripped up toilet paper in there, along with Ava looking very guilty. When I asked her where her diaper was, she said “it’s in the sink.”
So I quickly found myself doing an impromptu deep-cleaning of the bathroom, as well as my daughter. I couldn’t help but notice that the substance I was cleaning from the sink and countertops had dried there (a little bit), and essentially reminded me of trying to scrape peanut butter out of the sink. I actually even took a picture of it and sent it to Jessica so she could see how things were going.
Eventually I finished cleaning everything just in time for Enzo to wake up from his nap. The rest of the night was pretty much normal, meaning the girls were still up when Jessica got home from work, and that I (other than Baby Enzo) was the first one in bed. I’m starting to think I should have titled this post “A day in the life.”
Luckily the rest of our weekend has been really laid back. Today we stayed in pajamas all day, watched a bunch of shows, and had a quick little dance party. Speaking of dancing, I’m always playing all kinds of music for the girls in the car, and lately I’ve been listening to the soundtrack from the movie ‘Dazed and Confused.’ It’s all 70’s stuff like Rick Derringer, Ted Nugent, Foghat, Alice Cooper, etc. The girls actually like it, and I’m not just saying that. It’s important to me that they know good music and aren’t just into whatever is most popular. Their absolute favorite song right now is ‘Jim Dandy To The Rescue’ by Black Oak Arkansas. Super random I know, but they get really excited when that song comes on. Ava thinks she knows the words and does her best to sing along, while Pippo (the purple hippo) goes on a crazed dancing spree as her Gepetto Elise smiles and bops along.
Amy and Tom are on their way up here in the RV and should be arriving on Tuesday. I’m taking Friday off work and we’re heading East to Lake Chelan, one of my favorite childhood destinations, for the holiday weekend. Several of our neighbors will also be there, so it should be a lot of fun. Some of them are actually already there and have reported that it’s crystal clear and there is no concern of fires. Sunday we’ll be spending the day at Slidewaters, which is the water park owned by my Dad’s old boss. We used to go there every summer growing up, and the story of how my Dad was connected to it was interesting, but that’s another story for another time. For now, here’s some recent pics.
Baby Enzo at 7 months
The little Frank Sinatra